The project is based on a consortium of 8 partners, 3 from Australia, 2 from France, 2 from UK and 1 from Norway, and the collaborative support of external partners (IPEV, IRD, MNHN, PolarPod, and CNRS-CEBC), representing a large muti-disciplinary community with complementary expertises in acoustic monitoring and modeling sciences.
CLS, a subsidiary of CNES (French Space Agency) and IFREMER (French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea), develops satellite services in location and environmental data collection, space oceanography and radar detection. CLS offers services in three major domains: environmental monitoring, maritime security, and management of marine resources. CLS has a broad experience in satellite data processing altimetry data, sea surface temperature, ocean colour and radar imagery as well as in in-situ data processing (ARGO float, drifters, and tide gauges). Since 2006, CLS has developed a team for marine Ecosystems modeling to contribute to a better understanding of how marine ecosystems function, under the influence of both human activities and climate-environmental variability. It also provides useful tools for ecosystem-based management and sustainable exploitation of marine resources, especially the so-called SEAPODYM (Spatial Ecosystem And Population Dynamics Model) software.
CLS is coordinating MESOPP and will be leading the development of the web site. CLS team will collaborate with partners through discussions and meetings needed to develop the procedures to process acoustic data in a format directly usable for assimilation in the SEAPODYM model and for validation. CLS will provide optimized micronekton simulation outputs to partners through direct transfers and then project website.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is Australia’s national science organisation and one of the largest and most diverse scientific research organisations in the world. The Oceans and Atmosphere (O&A) Flagship provides the knowledge to manage Australia’s marine estate and atmospheric environment, plan for and respond to weather and climate related natural hazards and ensure sustainable coastal development and growth of marine industries. Understanding oceans, coasts, climate and atmosphere is critical to Australia’s future. Australian ocean-based industries contribute over $42 billion a year to the Country economy. The ocean drives the climate system, provides food and transport, minerals, oil and gas resources, sustains biodiversity and regional economies, and offers recreational and lifestyle opportunities. Australia’s marine and coastal resources often come under pressure from the competing demands of different sectors. Sharing ocean’s wealth for the benefit of all Australians requires a careful balancing act of planning, management and cooperation. The O&A Flagship provides a large-scale multidisciplinary science to inform environmentally, socially and economically sustainable outcomes across the broad range of users and uses of Australia’s marine environment.
CSIRO will bring in MESOPP its long experience on the monitoring of micronekton using acoustic data. See more here
The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) is the Australian agency for leading and coordinating the Australian Antarctic program. It is a division within the Australian Commonwealth Department of the Environment. The AAD operates the research and supply vessel, RV Aurora Australis, and four stations, three of which are in Antarctica and one on Macquarie Island. The AAD coordinates and leads the implementation of the Australian Antarctic Science Strategic Plan, including research in the Southern Ocean, on and around subantarctic islands, and in Antarctica. In this regard, the AAD has two science programs (1) Antarctic Conservation and Management, and (2) Antarctica and the Global System.
The AAD is the lead agency for coordinating, undertaking and delivering science into the Committee on Environmental Protection, which advises the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, and into the Scientific Committee of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). A key element of its work is to undertake ecosystem, conservation and fisheries research and modelling in the Indian Sector of the Southern Ocean. This research is in support of ecosystem-based management of fisheries in the region, including finfish fisheries in the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands and krill fisheries in East Antarctica. The research also aims to measure dynamics and change of these ecosystems in response to climate change, combining data from all trophic levels in these assessments and models.
Within the University of Tasmania, the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) is a leading centre of Southern Ocean studies both nationally and internationally. The institute has an underlying philosophy of interdisciplinary studies, and has identified whole ecosystem processes and their responses to climate change as a core part of its strategic plan. Within IMAS there is particular expertise in the analysis and interpretation of animal tracking data built up over 20 years. MESOPP is a natural fit for this programme and in addition will build further capacity to integrate ocean data with predator ecological data within the International marine science community.
IMAS will provide expertise in mid and higher trophic level interactions as well as ocean data from the seals as oceanographers program. He will also be co-leader of the elephant seal Case Study.
The Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Center (ACE-CRC) is Australia’s primary research centre for understanding the role of the Antarctic region in the global climate system, and the implications of change in the Earth system for Southern Ocean marine ecosystems south of 40°S. Its purpose is to provide governments and industry with accurate, timely and actionable information on climate change and its likely impacts. ACE-CRC research program is wide-ranging and multi-disciplinary, including oceanography, ice sheet and sea ice dynamics, biogeochemistry and ecosystems. Since 2005, ACE-CRC has been developing end-to-end ecosystem models for the Indian Sector of the Southern Ocean. These models include a 1/4 degree resolution circum-Antarctic ocean-iceshelf model using the Regional Ocean Modelling System, biogeochemical and fishery models for the Kerguelen Plateau and food web models for this region developed in NetLogo and in Atlantis. Since 2009, a system for observing dynamics and change in the Indian Sector is developed, as part of IMBER’s Integrated Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics (ICED) program and the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS).
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). It has, for over 60 years, undertaken the majority of Britain’s scientific research in and around the Antarctic and Arctic regions, building a reputation as a world-renowned polar science and logistical centre. BAS undertakes a world-class programme of scientific research, survey and long term observations addressing key issues of global or fundamental importance that require access to the Polar regions. NERC-BAS staff operates three stations in the Antarctic, at Rothera, Halley and Signy, and two stations on South Georgia, at King Edward Point and Bird Island. NERC-BAS hosts the UK Arctic Office and manages the UK Arctic station at Ny-Ålesund (Harland Huset), and the RRS James Clark Ross operates in the Arctic Ocean most summers. The British Antarctic Survey has unprecedented ability to access well studied sites in the Antarctic and Arctic, and has a number of important connections to relevant researchers from other countries.
NERC-BAS is developing the Southern Ocean Network of Acoustics (SONA) to measure the mid-trophic level, agree common standards and protocols for data collection and processing and with a view to provide that data on an open access basis.
The Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) encompasses all major sciences, including earth, marine and environmental sciences, and is the top French university (6th in Europe by the Shanghai world rankings). Within UPMC, the LOCEAN provides expertise on physical and biogeochemical processes driving the multi-scale variability of the ocean and climate while the PEPS aims at understanding the functionning and evolution of marine ecosystems in the context of climate change, and studying the influence of dynamique oceanic processes on biogeochemical cycles, biodiversity and trophic webs. Projects of these teams particularly focus on polar regions since they are associated to a biological activity potentially impacted by changes in oceanic circulation and atmospheric forcing.
The research unit BOREA aims at investigating evolutionary biology and ecology of aquatic organisms. The objective is to understand the origin, the role and the evolutionary mechanisms of aquatic biodiversity (from molecules to ecosystems) and to contribute predicting the responses to global, anthropogenic and climatic, changes. A large array of biological models are studied, including micro-organisms and metazoa. Models are chosen for their phylogenetic position, biological cycle, ecological and economic relevance.
IMR has about 700 employees and is Norway’s largest centre in marine science, and the second largest marine research institute in Europe. The main focus is the ecosystems of the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the North Sea, and the Norwegian coastal zone. IMR’s main task is to provide science based advice to Norwegian authorities on aquaculture, and the marine environment and its resources within these areas. IMR has state of the art ocean going capacity and perform both oceanographic and fisheries research surveys.
IMR has a long standing experience in fisheries acoustics, dating back to 1935, and IMRs’ role in MESOPP will be to contribute to the network with expertise in fisheries acoustics. IMR is also involved in CCAMLR, and deploys survey and research effort in the Antarctic.
The University of St Andrews carries out research on the ecology and biology of zooplankton and micronekton that live in the open ocean (the pelagic realm). This relies on combinations of acoustic (scientific echosounders) and netting techniques to sample zooplankton/micronekton and gather data enabling to estimate their abundance and map their distribution. The objective is to understand processes that alter abundance and distribution, and the consequences that changes in the zooplankton and micronekton have for higher trophic levels (predators) and fisheries.
As part of the MESOPP project, UA will model the behavioural dynamics of mesopelagic fish in the hope that it will explain the emergent system-level properties of deep scattering layers, such as depth and density, that are readily observed using echosounders. Results of the model will be applied to the Southern Ocean ecosystem, linking the behaviour and biomass of mesopelagic fish to food availability (zooplankton abundance) and predation pressure (e.g. King Penguins and Seals).